Canada will have extra cause for celebration if they end England’s 29-match winning run and make it through to the final of Rugby World Cup 2021 at the Red Roses’ expense.
The two sides meet in the first of the semi-finals at Eden Park in Auckland this Saturday with Canada knowing that a big enough victory will lift them to top spot in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini for the first time in history. Second place is their current all-time best.
A win by more than 15 points is worth 5.68 points, which would take them on to 93.51 points overall – the first time they’ll have gone past 90 points.
Big wins for Canada and France will send the sides up to first and second place in the rankings with England and New Zealand dropping down to third and fourth respectively.
New Zealand have never been in that position before, while third would be the lowest England have been ranked since November 2016.
Even if England beat Canada to make it through to the final of Rugby World Cup 2021, they are guaranteed have a smaller advantage at the top of the rankings than before kick-off
The Red Roses go into the weekend with a 7.21-point buffer between themselves and New Zealand but with a maximum of 0.31 of a point on offer for a Red Roses win, the gap will be down to 6.13 points at most as the winner of the New Zealand v France tie will pick up significantly more points in victory.
If pre-match favourites England and New Zealand both win, the order of the top four sides will remain the same.
Big moves possible in Europe and Africa
All the remaining women’s test matches taking place this weekend count towards the rankings.
The Rugby Europe Women’s Trophy continues with Germany taking on Czechia in Hurth, while in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup, Cameroon are up against the Ivory Coast and Uganda face east African rivals Kenya.
Germany are the highest ranked of those six teams in 21st, but with six points between themselves and Sweden, the side immediately above them, there is no opportunity for any progression.
A Czechia win, however, would lead to them enjoying big gains with as many as eight places and a new high of 30th up for grabs. Germany will fall below China to 22nd if this happens.
Just three places and one-and-a-quarter points separate Kenya in 27th from Uganda in 30th, so the outcome of that match will have some significant repercussions on their respective rankings.
A win for Kenya’s Lionesses will move them above Colombia and into 26th with an additional place also theirs for the taking if they win by a big enough margin.
Uganda will become the higher-ranked of the two sides if they win, moving up to 27th regardless of the margin. Kenya will fall to 29th.
Based on their respective rankings, Cameroon would be expected to beat Ivory Coast as they are currently 16 places and almost six points better off.
While it is not possible for Cameroon to climb any higher than 28th, a rise of between five and nine places is on the cards for the Ivory Coast, who are currently ranked in 44th.